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judgmental immunity

Immunity from professional liability claims that lawyers enjoy when they commit errors in judgment during the course of litigation. Accordingly, an assertion that, for example, a lawyer utilized improper trial tactics or employed what turns out to be an ineffective defense strategy (e.g., allowing a criminal defendant to testify in his own behalf, which may or may not be advantageous, depending upon the circumstances) is generally insufficient to support a cause of action for professional liability. However, judgmental immunity does not shield a lawyer from liability if the errors are so egregious that they clearly fall below the requisite, minimum required standard of care (e.g., failing to call a crucial witness or neglecting to introduce a significant piece of evidence).


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